Finding the Holy Grail
I have been on a little quest for some time now.
It was a simple ambition. I just wanted a lighter for my pipe.
I did have some parameters that needed to be fulfilled. It had to be reasonably sturdy. It had to be refillable. I prefer gas to petrol and prefer flint lighters as they are somewhat easier to repair.
So far I have collected Zippo, Ronson, Peterson, Lotus, Vector and a rake of others whose names escape me. For one reason or another each had to be abandoned. Most of them broke. Some broke physically when bits snapped off. Some broke internally when they just stopped working. Some developed leaks and vanished in a ball of flame when near a spark [quite an impressive sight!]. My latest purchase – the Adorini – was grand but was more suitable for cigarettes or spot welding.
I was doing a job around the house the other day. The job is irrelevant but I was looking for a particular something [something small round and very hard, like a small nut]. When looking for something that is non-specific but needs certain qualities the best place to start looking is of course the Kitchen Drawer.
We all have a Kitchen Drawer. That’s the one where everything gets dumped so it fills up with a load of crap that just may have a use sometime in the future. Old clothes pegs, string, a Christmas Card from 2004, cocktail sticks, you know the score? Anyhows I was rooting around the back of the drawer amongst the old pre-decimal coins, screws and bits of macaroni [?] when I found a lighter. I flicked it. It worked!
The lighter is a Clipper. It’s gas [tick], with a soft flame [tick]. It’s refillable [tick] and uses replaceable flint [tick]. Best of all, if anything goes wrong with it, I can get a new one from Tesco for the princely sum of €1 [Wow!].
I have no idea where it came from. It looks brand new. It does have a strange decoration on it as if it were advertising something. I looked up the clues on the Interwebs and the best I can find is that it possibly had origins in San Francisco. I actually found the exact pattern –
It’s a wee bit annoying that I spent so much time sending off for lighters from various spots on the planet when I had one right under my nose all the time, but that’s life. The one thing you seek is right beside you if you just look.
I bet Daughter is going to claim it as hers.
She can feck off.
It’s MINE now.
The Clipper’s a very well established product, certainly as far back as the 1960s from my memory, indeed it’s probably the daddy of all the imitators. Still readily available, although whether all now have the refillable and re-flintable feature would need checking. Happy hunting.
It’s definitely refillable [I have just done so]. The flint puzzled me until I tried YouTube – it’s not obvious how to change the flint but there’s no problem once you know how!
Haight-Ashbury? I think that’s a lighter for wacky baccy!
Hah! That actually makes a lot of sense. I had better not say any more [you never know who’s listening?]
Clipper lighters are the best invention since sliced teabags. Did you know that the removable part where you insert the flints is great for tightening the roach into your spliff? Clearly this lighter was left there for you by an unseen power who is trying to tell you something.
Yes. I discovered that……
You mentioned Zippo. One thing I learnt when I was a smoker is that Zippos have a lifetime guarantee. From Ireland you have to send it to Germany, I’m not sure how much that would cost but I guess it’s less than a new Zippo.
The Zippo I have is still in fine working order. The main problem I had was in getting the local shops to stock the fuel. Also the petrol flame gave a not so nice flavor to the lighting process.